Study Guide

Jake Marpole in My Ántonia

By Willa Cather

Jake Marpole

Jake is a farmhand who moves with Jim out to the country to work for his grandparents. Jake's situation is parallel to that of Jim's in that he has a limited experience of the world at the novel's opening. In other words, the West presents a brand new, exciting world for him. Like Otto, he's a typically masculine figure whom Jim admires. Jake is important to the novel because he's involved in a few significant scenes. When he fights with Ambrosch, for example, it causes a rift between Jim and Ántonia. When he tells Jim that you can't trust foreigners, the reader gets to see some of the prejudices the immigrants have to deal with.